Mercedes-Benz always delivers something special and in the case of the updated E-Class range debuting in Australia mid next year, headlines go to the diesel-hybrid E300 BlueTec Hybrid.
Scheduled to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the diesel-hybrid model is part of the revised E-Class lineup which features much more athletic looks, significant powertrain changes and a plethora of technology updates
The Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid employs a 150kW/500Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel and 19kW/280Nm electric motor. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 4.1l/100kms taking the E-Class hybrid under its major rival the BMW ActiveHybrid5.
Styling changes are impressive – giving the already elegant Mercedes-Benz E-Class a stronger look.
Most noticeable is the front where the E-Class adopts a look not dissimilar to the C-Class with a large grille in two different designs – the ‘Elegance’ line with three slats and the traditional bonnet-mounted three-point star while the ‘Avantgarde’ goes sporty with a two-slat layout and central-mounted three-point star. There’s a new design bonnet and headlights move to a single lens design incorporating the headlights, fog-lights and sophisticated LED DRLs.
At the side are new-design rear wheel arches (a simpler layout than the current model while the rear sees new tail-lights and bumper.
Inside, ‘Benz has ramped-up the luxury and traditional Mercedes-Benz buyers will be surprised to see the adoption of an analogue clock – centre-mounted above the audio system. There’s also new instruments with three gauges housed in a curved binnacle.
Audio systems score an upgrade with 14.7cm and 17.8cm screens – the latter with HDD satellite navigation.
The hybrid engine is not the end of the story under the bonnet however with Mercedes ditching the previous 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine for E200 and E250 models in favour of a turbocharged 2.0-litre. For the E200 that means 135kW/270Nm and fuel consumption of 5.8l/100kms (12 per-cent improvement on the previous model). Impressively the Mercedes-Benz E250 records the same fuel consumption (5.8l/100kms) but delivers 155kW/350Nm.
No change in output for the 3.5-litre V6 E350 but ‘Benz has wrought a considerable improvement in fuel consumption – down by 20 per-cent to 6.8l/100kms.
Same for the range-topping E500 – 300kW/600Nm from the twin-turbocharged 4.7-litre V8 but fuel consumption drops to 8.9l/100kms.
On the diesel front, both the E220 CDI and E250 CDI remain unchanged at 125kW/400NM and 150kW/500Nm respectively but both enjoy cuts in fuel consumption (4.7l/100kms for the 220 and 4.8l/100kms for the 250). The 3.5-litre V6 E350 CDI delivers 185kW/620Nm but fuel consumption improves by 13 per-cent to 5.5l/100kms.
And ‘Benz being ‘Benz there’s an armada of new technology including a 360-degree bird’s-eye camera system, automatic reverse parking, adaptive cruise control with steering assist, active lane-keeping assist and pedestrian detection.
Mercedes-Benz Australia is still some way from finalizing exact local specifications and pricing.